Largest Optical Telescope Now Operating

By: Associated Press
By: Associated Press

(AP) The world's most powerful optical telescope is now operating on southeastern Arizona's Mount Graham, capturing striking images of objects millions of light years away.

The Large Binocular Telescope _ two 8.4-meter diameter mirrors that together gather more light and have 10 times the resolution of the Hubble Space Telescope _ took its first images using both mirrors late last year. The first images were released to the public on Thursday.

There are huge telescopes that operate in other parts of the spectrum _ from low-frequency radio waves to far beyond visible light _ but no traditional telescope is more powerful.

The telescope is the $120 million crown jewel of the University of Arizona's Mount Graham International Observatory. The telescope is the third atop the 10,500-foot peak, including the Heinrich-Hertz Submillimeter Telescope and the Vatican Advanced Technology Telescope.

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